Exploring the Big Apple for the Weekend: New York City

It is hard to argue that there is a place that literally has everything any traveller could ever want that is not the Big Apple. In the City That Never Sleeps, there is rich culture, culinary delight, lively art scene, and so much more for any Virginian couple looking to getaway for the weekend. To become immersed in New York City is to experience a wonder of how iconic history has been transformed into a modern day metropolis. With over 8 million residents, it's easy to get lost in love amongst the sea of urban dwellers, and that makes it the perfect romantic adventure for two.

If there is one thing you need more than anything else, it's comfortable walking shoes. Like really comfortable. Bring extra shoe inserts if you're especially susceptible to blisters because you're going to be doing a ton of concrete jungle pounding. Like the locals, you'll wear your comfy footwear in transit and then change into more chic shoes once you get to your destination like a romantic stroll through the Met or nice dinner at one of the award-winning restaurants you'll find in the City. It is also prudent to bring layers of clothing, especially during fall and spring. The key to an amazing quick weekend getaway is comfort!

Quick Tip: Don't pack water bottles or other heavy food items! Get them delivered to your hotel instead. My favorite is Jet.com. Most hotels will just ask you to make sure to put your reservation confirmation number on your shipping address, so when you check in, it'll be there waiting for you!

Once you arrive in Penn Station from any of the Virginian Amtrak stops, you can either take a taxi to your hotel or the subway. The best part about NYC is there is literally no need to have a car or rent a car (and you wouldn't want to with the high prices on parking garages!). Depending on how often you plan to use the subway, research MTA's Fare Information and see if you should get an unlimited pass or just pay-per-ride.

Not a subway fan? Grabbing a taxi, Uber, or Lyft is definitely a way of life here! As an interesting note, Lyft has been known to have a higher satisfaction with their drivers. One Lyft driver with whom I chatted even said though he drives for both, he loves that Lyft pays their drivers more and that riders could tip via the Lyft app. Happy drivers mean happy riders who feel more comfortable with those drivers more!

Quick Tip: While we aren't brand ambassadors, you can get $15 on your first few rides with our affiliate link or by entering TIDEWATERTRAVELS as the referral code! It was in NYC when I first joined, and it was a massive treat to my wallet as quick trips to the Lower East Side or Greenwich Village were either free or just a few dollars. Transportation can be one of your biggest expenses when in town!

Location-centric, like Omni Berkshire Place where I stayed for one of my trips up to New York City, is right in the middle of things in Manhattan. With a longstanding NYC history since 1926, the Omni is just around the corner from Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, Bergdorf Goodman, and St. Patrick's Cathedral. All of the places you want to see and be and all within walking distance!

photo courtesy of omni berkshire place

With a variety of rooms available, you can choose which ones you like best, but any of them are comfortable and ideal for a romantic getaway. Since you'll be adventuring about, the location is definitely the biggest draw!

Fun Fact: When traveling, I prefer to support businesses that are socially-conscious, and the Omni brand does just that! All Omni Hotels and Resorts have a commitment to local communities. Their Say Goodnight to Hunger program gives guests the opportunity to help feed a family with the travels and their associates an opportunity to donate their time and effort at food banks and pantries near their respective properties. So when you getaway to different destinations and book your Omni stay directly at www.OmniHotels.com, Omni donates to Feeding America that then gives meals for families in need.

Because of various tastes and treats, there isn't really good advice for this one because there is so much to choose from when staying in the City! If you're a boardwalk fan, you and your sweetheart should travel out to Coney Island/Brooklyn for good ole comfort fair food at the original Nathan's Hot Dogs. If you have a delectable sweet tooth with artsy notions, visit Stick with Me Sweets in NoLita ("North of Little Italy") for artisanal chocolates expertly painted. If you prefer contemporary cuisine, eat dinner under the stars at The Standard Plaza in the High Line area. For gluten-free and vegan breakfast pastries and treats, Erin McKenna's Bakery in the Lower East Side is a tasty heaven on earth.

Quick Tip: What if you want a quiet night-in watching movies and snuggling at your hotel? The Seamless app to the rescue and is literally my personal favorite techie-meets-foodie tool when in NYC. A whole lot of local restaurants participate, so choices are many. If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, you can even search for just those items in the app. Prices are very affordable even if a delivery fee is additional (some places do not have one!). Get a taste of NYC food goodness all from the comfort of your bed away from home.

Whether you are lucky to have snagged tickets to your favorite Broadway show during your getaway or just enjoy walking around the sunglasses-worthy Times Square, boredom is not a word you use in New York City. Foodies, art lovers, bibliophiles, and music aficionados of every walk of life will find any and every thing to do.

From excellent shopping on every street to remembering and honoring those lost in a tragic moment American history that changed the entire world at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum to cheering on your favorite baseball team at Yankee Stadium, there is truth in what Hamilton's Schuyler Sisters sing: "History is happening in Manhattan, and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world."

New York City is a great destination that molds itself to what you want. It's a place of hope, dreams, and "making it." And that's why it's so perfect for any traveling couple wishing for the same. There is a strange urban magic and charm to this place that you won't see in any other cities, and because it's so easy to get to from Virginia by train, you will have to visit multiple times to really get a true glimpse on what makes this metropolitan haven so well-loved with its locals.

- Chelsea

Photography: Brandi Gard

Disclaimer: Partial accommodations were provided by the Omni Berkshire Place for press review. All opinions are our own. Some of the above product links are affiliate-linked and purchasing through these links helps support Tidewater and Tulle and its wonderful partners! You can find our full affiliate disclosure policy here.